Design ideas and design process
For idea 1, I combined a sunset sky with a photo of The Kicking Horse river in Jasper. I used a clipping mask to remove the sky from the Jasper photo and then used the select options to contract and feather the edge of the mountain. I then went back onto the clipping mask and used the brush to pull the colour from the sunset into the remaining clouds on the Jasper photos, by using a soft brush at half opacity. Lastly, I changed the colour balance on the Jasper photo so that it looked more realistic with the orange sky, making it warmer and redder. I really like the sunset approach to this river, which was originally in full daylight, and the warmer atmosphere created.
In idea 2 I did a pink colour pop with one of the macaroons and applied a background blend of coffee beans. To do this I used the black and white layer adjustments mask and adjusted colour levels to make the macaroons stand out. I then used the select tool and a black brush to bring the pink macaroon back out. I experimented with black and white gradients on the layer mask to bring in edges of pink but I didn’t like the look of this. Instead, I selected the macaroons and duplicated them before placing a photo of coffee beans onto layer 0. I played with different blend modes and opacities, ending up with a subtle coffee bean print, suggesting that these are coffee flavour ed. I like the final macaroon design for its simpleness and cleanness, with the subtle coffee beans hinting at the flavour.
On design three I tried the splatter technique on a peacock image. I masked off the background of the peacock and then created a new layer. Using the keyboard shortcuts I and B I made splatters behind the peacock and on the layer mask of the peacock. I adjusted the brush settings to get different sizes of splatter. I really like this effect and it was surprisingly easy for how effective it is. I then put a photo of a forest behind it and did more of the same effect to unify the image.I think the peacock design is bright and refreshing and feels sort of magical, as the particles of colour fly around and disperse.
I enjoyed watching a wide range of videos on Photoshopping techniques for this project. I learnt a lot about layer masks, which I had not explored further than colour pop before, which are very useful for applying effects to only one part of an image. They also allow you to edit photos ‘non-destructively’, meaning that it is much easier to go back and edit/reselect areas of an image, possibly saving a lot of time. A useful shortcut I learned was that ‘x’ switches between black and white when using clipping masks.
I have a better understanding how to create other effects such as splatter and glow, as well as the endless possibilities using blend modes. I also found out that command clicking on a layer selects just the layer. Here are the videos I found most useful: